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5 Things That Are Key For New England Patriots’ Success In 2013

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5 Things That Are Key For The Patriots Success In 2013

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

After two pretty ugly weeks, the New England Patriots are somehow 2-0. The Patriots staged a great comeback Week 1 against the Buffalo Bills, and somehow came out on top in an all time ugly game Thursday night against the NY Jets. There have been a lot of changes coming into the 2013 season, especially on the offensive side of the ball. With a small sample of the Patriots so far, we can see that this is definitely going to be a work in progress and they may not really start playing well until Week 4 or 5. The sooner, the better, though, considering they have to go into Atlanta Week 4 in what will be the Patriots’ toughest test so far this season against the Atlanta Falcons.

The Patriots have been hit with some injuries early on and look to get those players back in the next couple weeks, which will be a huge thing for this offense. Tom Brady is working with rookie receivers and Julian Edelman at the moment and relying on his defense to keep him in games. Nobody can ever count a team out with a Hall of Fame QB behind center, but this offense needs to get healthy and get more reps before it will take form. With some key players getting back on the field and rookies getting more comfortable, this offense could come into its own and surprise many people. Here are five things the Patriots need to have success in 2013.

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5. Patriots Defense

Pats D
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The Patriots defense has looked good in the first two games of the season. They would only give up 14 points Week 1, the other seven points Buffalo scored coming on a Ridley fumble, and gave up only 10 to the Jets. They have six turnovers in two games and have now played with each other for a few years. I expect them to be a top-10 defense this year and the Patriots will need them to carry the team for a few weeks.

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4. Tom Brady

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This should be no shocker here. Tom Brady is still one of the best in the league at 36 and is in the conversation for one of the greatest of all time. He has had a slow start and looks frustrated with his offense, but never count Brady out. The Patriots had virtually no practice before the Jets game and it is only Week 2 for these young receivers. With time and more reps Brady will get on the same page with everyone and continue to be a dominate QB in the NFL.

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3. Health

Amendola and Gronkowski
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Health is going to be a major factor for the Patriots this season. Their two best offensive threats are injury-prone players and the success of the passing game is based mostly on two guys, Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski. With these two guys healthy, the offense should flourish. Gronk is the best TE in the league when healthy and a red-zone nightmare for opposing defenses. Amendola, on the other hand, is not going to get the looks as much in the red zone, but is a Welker like player who will be targeted 12-15 times a game and should have a breakout year if he can stay on the field. Health is always a factor with any NFL team. But for the Patriots, it is crucial since their best two receiving threats have an injury-riddled past.

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2. Running Game

Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

The Running game is going to be important not only early on, but as a whole this year. When Brady gets Gronk and Amendola back it will help the passing game, but in order for a passing game to be very successful, the Patriots will need a strong run game to help balance their attack. So far, Stevan Ridley has been disappointing to say the least. Shane Vereen had a monster game week one but is now lost until at least Week 11 with a broken wrist. If Ridley cannot pick up his game, expect to see someone else in the backfield. Regardless who they have back there, they need to get production to help this offense out.

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1. Rookies

Dobson, Thomkins
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, we have the rookies. Kenbrell Thomkins has only played two weeks and Aaron Dobson has only played one. They both have made some plays but the good has been overshadowed with the bad. Both players have had trouble catching the football, though some people are in full panic mode, I am not. They are both young players that are coming out of smaller college programs and being thrown into a big stage especially on a team like the Patriots. Give them some time and reps with Brady and they will be fine. Plus when Amendola and Gronk are back, that will take a lot of pressure off of them and open up the field more. These rookies will come around with time, but the sooner they do, the more valuable they will be to Tom Brady.